There is a group of aliens, called the Erubians, who often go out to study and experiment on species less developed than them. They are a type 2 civilization, and their main goal is to study all Primitive intelligent life in the galaxy. But there experiments sometimes are not beneficial to the civilizations the meet. They only experiment on pre-type I civilizations like how we experiment on mice.One day, about 3,500 years ago they discovered earth. They then found out that a primitive but intelligent species, humans, inhabited this world. They sent a crew of about 50 scientists in orbit around the planet to study this life’s development. They also abducted many humans from across the world in places like America, Europe, and Asia and conducted experiments on them. They would abduct a new batch of humans every 250 years, to see if any minute changes occurred over the ages.

But they soon discovered that a Cold War had started, and that Nuclear war might decimate this species. The scientists at first did not interfere, but they soon wanted to conduct an experiment on the human race. They would start a nuclear war. My question is, what would be a good motivation for them to do this?

About the Erubians:

  • They are a humanoid reptile species. Or actually we should be called erubianoid species

  • The Erubians evolved on lush tropical world around a red dwarf sun 950,000 years ago.

  • They are so advanced they have already mapped 40% of the galaxy. They have the ability to travel multiple times faster than the speed of light, and have technology so advanced, we cannot currently comprehend it.

  • They can see in the ultraviolet spectrum, since the evolved on a planet orbiting a red star.

  • They are most advanced in biotechnology. They can easily clone species, create super bugs to wipe out entire planets

  • They can abduct members of a species by teleporting them up to their ship.

  • They are, to a human perspective, immortal. The average lifespan is 10,000 years.

  • They became a post-scarcity civilization eons before humans even existed. The have a type of fuel cell that can give out nearly infinite energy, and can produce nearly any item from converting energy into matter ( both of those things use science that we cannot even begin to understand)

  • The Erubians have not made any new technological advancements in the last 50 millennia as there is no need to.
  • After discovering earth they sent over a crew of one mothership and two scout ships. Scout ships are used to abduct humans and return them to the mothership. The mothership is we’re all the scientific investigations are conducted. The also have about 500 video probes that record human activity from high up in the sky.
  • This isn’t the first time they’ve done an experiment on humans. The Black Death was one of their creations.
  • Most of the time, they try to make sure the species they experiment on is not aware of their presence, as this would add a variable to the experiment.
  • They also have “ control group species” that they don’t interact with at all, but instead let develop normally.
  • They have been experimenting on species for about 475,000 years.
  • The human race is very unique, as most species don’t actively seek to destroy themselves.
  • They aren’t very kind or compassionate to non- reptilian species.

closed as primarily opinion-based by sphennings, wetcircuit, Vincent, Andon, kingledion Feb 5 '18 at 13:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi Bryan. Sounds like you've already got the Worldbuilding done and are looking for a story. That's not what we do here. We help you work out the kinks in your worldbuilding details, but we don't work on plots or stories in your world. $\endgroup$ – wetcircuit Feb 5 '18 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ No, I’m not asking about plot or details. I’m asking what would be a good motivation for the aliens to do the war. That’s world building $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 5 '18 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ Wet circuit do you understand $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 5 '18 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ @wetcircuit This question doesn't require working on plot or story. The kink in the worldbuilding details that needs working out is a plausible reason to achieve a specific effect. $\endgroup$ – a4android Feb 5 '18 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ Seriously, just read the newspapers. You can find a few dozen reasons to start an apocalypse every day. $\endgroup$ – Burki Feb 5 '18 at 8:59

They live for 10,000 years, they're a post-scarcity society, have infinite energy, and haven't invented anything new in so long that they barely remember that new things can be invented.

That's their problem: they don't know how to invent, how to adapt. It's been millennia since they've faced any real danger or crisis. However, they still know that things can go wrong, and they can't predict when such a thing will happen.

So, they go around to 'primitive' worlds, testing them to find successful ways to react to a crisis. They cause one of several potential catastrophes on worlds and record how the inhabitants try to survive, in case they need to do the same. What is a good strategy for an energy crisis? What is a good strategy if we're invaded by an advanced race? And, for the Earth experiment: What is a good survival strategy if we have an incredibly destructive war with ourselves?


"Sociological effects of thermo-nuclear war in a Pre-1 civilization."

In short, if they are calloused enough, maybe that's someone's master's dissertation.

Alternatively, they could simply be cleaning their "Petri dishes" after getting enough data about humans and want to see if maybe some more interesting species will emerge after the biosphere gets blasted with nuclear weapons.

(Also, if they are doing it for science, don't forget to make at least three repetitions so you get statistically significant results.)

  • $\begingroup$ It would actually be impossible for them to repeat it three times on the same species as they would probably not let nuclear war happen three times. They can however do the same experiment on three separate species to get accurate results $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 4 '18 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ "Calloused enough"? Not cold-hearted either. This is for research. A PhD thesis, at least. They're only mammals after all and they don't have finer sensibilities like reptilian sapients. $\endgroup$ – a4android Feb 5 '18 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ +1, they want to know what happens and contrary to what we want to believe species dumb enough to do this might be rare. In addition to the study, you can probably sell recordings for entertainment. This probably requires that they have a policy of terminating potentially dangerous species somewhere fairly close to where we are. And "dangerous" might be short hand for "irrational enough to self-destruct using nuclear weapons with a minimal push." $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Feb 5 '18 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Bryan - sure you can repeat with the same species...maybe not the same population (though with enough time, or meddling, even that's not a guarantee), but separate a couple populations out and you can have as many repetitions as you want...with even some left over for control groups $\endgroup$ – Megha Feb 6 '18 at 5:18

Reducing the gene pool to observe the Founder Effect in a sentient species, in preparation for their own colony expedition to Andromeda.

"Sure, it is hard on those mammals, but they're not reptiles after all."


This article on TV tropes is really good for checking the logic of your aliens decisions. Read through this to see plotholes in your plan for your aliens and to ask questions about them. e.g. Why use specifically a nuclear war, they may have an even better bioweapon that can cause random mutations. And why start it in the first place, can't experiment on them if they die.



Maybe the evolution of their technology to their current level was jumpstarted by a nuclear war, and they want to see whether humans are the same or not.


From the OP:

  • The Erubians have no need for technological advancement (or possibly simply do not see a need)

  • They have an objective to study all primitive life in the galaxy (though why is unclear)

  • Their approach to study is often experimental, especially after initial study. They have no qualms about major interference.

  • They have been experimenting on species for almost 500 millenia, but have not advanced their technology for doing so for the last 50 millenia. i.e. they seem to be stagnating

What is their real objective? Possibly a combination of the following:

  • They are bored and need amusement/entertainment
  • They are bored/dissatisfied/sated technologically and seek to find something more satisfying/meaningful spiritually or emotionally
  • They are attempting to rediscover something they have lost in their evolution
  • They are trying to push an emerging civilization in a different direction (from theirs), or maybe in the same direction
  • Mischeviousness
  • Attempting to provoke, prove or reach a higher authority (a search for God?)

Any of the above might justify drastic intervention. Generally, their interference seems to be gradually escalating anyway: study, abduction, plague, etc., so an increase in scale would not seem unreasonable - especially if none of their objectives have been sufficiently satisfied.

Essentially, having somewhat vague and unachievable objectives can only increase the strength and extent of their interference, especially where the value of individual species appear to have no intrinsic worth to them.


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